Aljamain Sterling’s coach Ray Longo believes T.J. Dillashaw’s PED history is a relevant narrative heading into UFC 280: “He’s a convicted cheater”

By Josh Evanoff - October 17, 2022

Aljamain Sterling’s coach Ray Longo believes that T.J. Dillashaw‘s history is important heading into UFC 280.

TJ Dillashaw, Aljamain Sterling, UFC 280

‘Funk Master’ is set to return this weekend for the first time since his rematch with Petr Yan in April. In that bantamweight title matchup, Sterling used his wrestling and grappling to earn a split-decision win. The victory was his first title defense since claiming the championship by disqualification the year prior.

Now, the champion is set to return this Saturday at UFC 280. Standing opposite Sterling is former bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw. The Colorado native returned to action last July, defeating Cory Sandhagen by a split decision to earn the title shot.

That win was an important one for the former champion, as it was his first in over two years. Following a knockout loss to Henry Cejudo in 2019, Dillashaw tested positive for EPO. As a result, he was suspended for two years and lost his bantamweight strap.

Heading into UFC 280, Aljamain Sterling has insisted the former champion is likely cheating. That’s a narrative that right or wrong, Ray Longo believes is relevant. The longtime coach discussed T.J. Dillashaw’s drug history in an interview with Shakiel Mahjouri.

There, the coach argued that due to the former champion’s history, they have to discuss it, rather than sweep it under the rug.


PhotoCred: Bloody Elbow

“I think it’s a really worthy narrative because this guy is a cheater,” stated Longo. “He’s a convicted cheater. So what, do we just brush it under the rug like it never happened?… With this type of stuff, if you’re addicted right, because that’s an addiction, like why would you cheat? I have no idea, I’ve never done it so I don’t know. But, you have something going on that’s negative to make you do that.”

He continued, “That’s pretty rotten in this sport. Like, you’re purposefully cheating, so if you don’t think there’s a possibility that he got caught and he understands why he got caught and didn’t fix that, that would be a naive way of looking at it.”

While Ray Longo and his pupil may have their opinions on the matter, it hasn’t sat well with T.J. Dillashaw. The 36-year-old has repeatedly hit back at the idea that he’s on illegal substances heading into Saturday.

What do you think about Ray Longo’s comments? Do you agree? Sound off in the comment section below!